McNair Scholars Research Journal


Society in Northern Ireland has been wrought by sectarian conflict for decades. The conflict, punctuated by random acts of bloodshed and violence from paramilitary groups, police, and the British military, had been the predominant model for conflict resolution in Northern Ireland until the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. Neighbors and friends had become enemies because of religious and political ideologies which lead to death, injury, and a deeply divided society. There was also an unseen cost of the conflict known as the Troubles; the immeasurable toll the conflict had taken on the mental and emotional health of children who had lived their while lives in turmoil. Northern Ireland's most vulnerable members of society are children and many have suffered from life-long psychological trauma of the violence. Children, however, have been the most underserved population in terms of psychological and social needs. The purpose of this study was to understand the body of research which has been produced on the response from the social sector to children traumatized by the violence of the Troubles and to evaluate the effectiveness of those responses.